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Posts Tagged With: people

On catching the red dot

So I’ve been covering for a vacant position for a while now and recently was given permission to post the job (yay!) and the autonomy to make my own decisions (double yay!).

Let the games begin!

But before I start let me say that I’ve interviewed for many jobs in my life.  I’ve won my share and lost just as many. Looking back, there were roles I wasn’t ready for, others someone (Divinely) guided me away from, and still more where I just wasn’t the one.

In 1989, before an interview for my very first *big* corporate break, I spent the afternoon at the library researching the corporation and discovered they were breaking ground on a multi-billion dollar plant in Saudi Arabia.  During the interview, when asked what I knew about their company,  I spoke in general terms but also referenced that project.  I saw the HR Director’s eyebrow shoot up and a smile cross her face.  And in that moment I knew I had it; I started soon after and stayed (and grew) for 12 years.

  • Lesson: If you’re not selling it no one’s buying it. It’s up to you to help a hiring manager see you as their solution.

9 years ago when a Territory Manager announced her retirement, I asked to be considered.  No I’d never been a manager but I was doing similar work and knew the processes & department inside out.  I was able to articulate to the powers-that-be that they’d be wise to choose me – and they did.

  • Lesson: If you’re not selling it no one’s buying it. It’s up to you to help a hiring manager see you as their solution.

4 years ago I applied for and won the position I’m in today, leading the Department.   I endured 4 grueling interviews but I knew, just like that first *real* opportunity, that this job was mine.  I knew there was no one more qualified: it was on me to convince them of that.  I prepared my list of accomplishments, practiced questions and answers with Hubbs, read up on my list of awards, best practices and process improvements.  I was ready. I brought my A-game and trounced the competition.

  •  Lesson: If you’re not selling it no one’s buying it. It’s up to you to help the hiring manager see you as their solution.

So now, when I find myself on the other side of the interview table, I can’t help it, I look for candidates who prepare like I would.

I look for people with passion for the work, not just a way out of what they’re doing now.

I look for someone who can see themselves in the job and help me see them as part of my team.

So here’s what actually happened, in no particular order:

  • A woman wrote a compelling cover letter detailing the reasons why she’d be a great fit.   Except she cited the wrong job.  Oy.
  • Two (men) tried to cut to the front of the line by emailing or calling me directly for an interview, ignoring HR protocol.  Not cool, back in line you go, and, by the way, neither made it past “go.”
  • One person never bothered to read the job description ~ during a phone screening he admitted that the part of the state this job covers is the part “he hates.”   Yeah, we’re done.
  • Another (man) winked at me at the close of an in-person interview.  Lysol, please.
so awesome

Don’t be this guy

~ Sigh~

People are fascinating and the things they’ll tell you in an interview (or anywhere) are astounding.

Example:

  • Question: This position manages many deadlines and details ~ describe for me what tools or tips you use to stay on top of multiple projects.
  • Answer: “I’m not a detail guy and I’m not very good at managing deadlines either.”
  • My thoughts:  Dude!

Another example:

  • Question: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Answer: Well I plan to move south next summer so I’m hoping you guys have something down there I can transfer to!!
  • My thoughts: Holy hell my head hurts.

There was one exception however.

She arrived early, calm and well-spoken.

She had a pleasantness about her, confidence without bravado.

She listened.

She articulated relevant experiences.

She asked good questions; she’d done her homework.

She connected the dots.

I am not indecisive: When I meet someone with passion and potential, I know it.

It wasn’t long before an offer was extended and thankfully accepted.

caught the red dot

 

** How about you?  Have you been on the other side of the interview table?  How do you prepare? What do you look for?  Do you know a dot catcher when you meet one?**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Joy, Life, Politics, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Storytellers & Liars

“A storyteller makes up things to help other people; a liar makes up things to help himself.”
Daniel Wallace, The Kings and Queens of Roam

I have an intolerance for Liars, especially having worked with/for one for years (otherwise known as The Rat).

So I like to think I have a pretty good nose for such people.  But, sometimes, I think I have blinders on, too.

You see, there’s a quite a lot of my Mom in me, the gal who wants to take people at their word, believe that most harbor good intentions, and think things will work out as they should.

So it took me a little by surprise when someone I’ve been interacting with turned out to be a Rat.

A big juicy one.

A sneaky, smarmy twitchy one.

A dirty, dank deceitful one.

I don’t interact with this person every day or even every month, but events find  us at the same meetings from time to time.

It happened just the other day, I’d arrived to a meeting, grabbed my notepad and chatted with others near me.

Not long after, I caught him in a lie.  Not just a “white lie,” but a big, twisty, “If I lie enough times it will eventually be true” kind of lie.

And I knew it. And he knew I knew it.

And the stance he took could only be interpreted as this, “What are you going to do about it?”

if you tell the truth you dont have to remember anything copy

Prickles ran up my back when I realized he thought I’d just sit there, with a room of witnesses, and “pretend” that I didn’t know what I knew.

So here’s what I did:  I asked him a question.  A pointed and strategic question.  The kind of question that you only can answer if you’re not a liar.  He blustered. He fumbled. He turned red. He turned on me.  He changed the subject.  All the while I looked at him and eventually, I smiled.  And he was caught.   I wonder if he’d been so used to lying that he thought no one would ever call him on his b.s.?  At the break a couple people commented on the exchange, and said they were surprised he was so “prickly” about my simple question (there’s that word again) and that I’d stayed calm as he came unhinged.

My response?  “I’m the youngest of 5 kids, 2 of which were brothers, plus a host of cousins.  You can’t know how many places I’ve been locked into. I can hold my own, don’t worry about me.”

I didn’t slander him, I didn’t smear him, but he knows that I know and I think sometimes that is enough.

He’s not likely to change his ways and I don’t care if he does.

But he knows that I know.

  * * *

How about you?   Do you know people who lie so much they might-as-well be a rug?  Do tell!

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, fear, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, Men, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

On Nudges

Last week, I wrote about my travels to D.C. and all that trip meant to me.

What I haven’t written about are all the nudges I experienced while there.

It started with the two Minnesota businessmen seated across from me at the conference dinner, the ones whose accents sounded so familiar.  The fellows who told their stories in the modest way Midwesterners do; what stays with me is how easily we laughed, as though we were old friends reunited after years apart.

There was the English couple making their way to St. Louis; his brown eyes locking on mine when he said, “It’s my Mother, you see, and she wants me to come.” I found myself nodding in agreement.   We talked of the bond between Mothers and children, regardless that she was 84 and he 61. I’d forgotten it was Mother’s Day that coming Sunday.  His wife, serene and beautiful, like Jane Goodall, smiled in support of the journey.

There was the businesswoman softly sobbing in the seat next to mine, our flight delayed again and again because of weather. But it wasn’t the storms that made her cry, it was her husband’s terse texts about being late to their 9 year old’s birthday.

There was the Arizona executive I met at an evening mixer, the woman who smiled as she told me of her Dad’s health challenges and how no other siblings were involved because he was such a cranky-puss these days.   She smiled her way through the fatigue.

There was the skinny smiley cab driver from Afghanistan who showed me photos of his baby daughter and the cleaning lady with the shy smile who never failed to say “Good morning!”

Maybe I was just a country girl in the city overwhelmed with the sights, the smells, the significance.

But I don’t think that’s it.

I felt it. With each of them.

A nudge.

A little push that said, “hear them. see them. listen.”

And so I did.

And in the listening,  that’s where I find the lessons live.

“An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstance.  The thread may stretch or tangle. But it will never break.” –  Proverbs

Have you ever experienced nudges like this? What did you?

related:

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:: google.images.com::

Categories: Beauty, Faith, Friendship, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 15 Comments

On paybacks

7 hours in the car yesterday could have been daunting but I totally enjoyed it. It gave me a break from the office routine, time and space to think, and a chance to go somewhere I’d never been before.  I was happy with my coffee, the chatty GPS and my jam-packed mp3 player.  When I tired of those, I had fun flipping through Detroit radio stations and reading signs for places like “Ypsilanti” and “Tecumseh.”

But the best part of my whole day was my encounter with a young fellow who waited on me in an Ann Arbor Restaurant;  I overheard him say he was a single father of three and just finishing up his shift so he could take his youngest to a Dr appt. The food was mediocre, the service superb, and the tip I left him … massive.

Why? Because I could.

yesterday’s route

Being a blessing to that young man blessed me.   When I got home, all stiff and tired, I went for a run. And I smiled the whole time.
“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who cannot pay you back.” Make a decision that you will live to give. Be on the lookout each day for somebody you can bless. Don’t live for yourself; learn to give yourself away, and your life will make a difference.” ―
Joel Osteen.
Categories: Attitude, Faith, Food, Joy, Life, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Consider

“People aren’t either wicked or noble. They’re like chef’s salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict.”
Lemony Snicket, The Grim Grotto

image from tasteofhome.com

I read this quote a few days ago and -BAM- two scenarios of conflict and confusion played out right before me.

It helped to have read this.

Why?

It gave me a reference point for understanding.

Has life ever served you chef’s salad?

Categories: Family, Life, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Songs I love to sing with him

Music is a big part of my life. Always has been, always will be.  Lucky for me that the same can be said for the hubbs: he loves and appreciates a wide range of music and we’ve introduced each other to our favorites.

After a long week at work, or just a day at home doing house stuff, we enjoy time together with a tune playing in the background… could be outside, could be inside.  Doesn’t matter. There are many that get us singing along but these are the ones I love to sing with him:

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

To Love Somebody … the Bee Gees. (Not too much beats the harmonic perfection of the Brothers Gibb)

 

I’d really love to see you tonight … England Dan and John Ford Coley (Takes us back to our 8 month engagement with 6 states separating us)

 

And, of course, the song he chose for us to dance to at our wedding…Something in the way she moves .. James Taylor. (He chose it and that’s enough for me).

 

me & the hubbs at our boy's wedding last year

 

me & the hubbs at our wedding

Everyone has that song they love: what’s yours?

 

P.S. – Hubbs and I have known each other 20 years & today’s our 19 year wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary sweetie!


Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Men, music, Personal, Romance, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , | 24 Comments

The time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land

Baseball season is quickly upon us.  At my house, we all know when this is happening because the hubbs has a sudden desire to clean the garage.  There’s an urgency that comes with this project that we don’t see in others and the reason is that, a few years back, I gave him the ultimate Fathers Day gift – cable TV in the garage. He loves nothing more than finishing up his work day, popping a cold one and standing (or sitting) in the spring air to watch his beloved Detroit Tigers. Often, you will find me with him as baseball is a great sport for couples to watch.  It’s fun and exciting, yes, but also has enough breaks for us to talk! (Try doing that during basketball!)   Our youngest will wander out, too, especially if a storm is brewing.     Having the garage open and the game on is an invite to neighbors to stop in for a chat and a refreshment.  It fosters a sense of community after a long, cold winter.

Of course, growing up in Michigan, the hubbs fondly recalls listening to Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell as he so eloquently described the play-by-play on the radio.  Ernie, known affectionately as the voice of baseball, passed away last year.  The hubbs talks reverently of summer evenings when he’d crank the radio up as loud as it would go and place it next to the screen window. This way, he and his friends could still hear the game while they shot baskets in the driveway.

Ernie was known for his low-key delivery, southern accent (Detroit “Ti-guhs”), and easy going style. Some of his catch phrases included:

  • “That one is long gone!” (His trademark home run call, with an emphasis on “long”)
  • “He stood there like the house by the side of the road, and watched it go by.” (After a called strikeout)
  • “Called out for excessive window shopping.” (Also after a called strikeout)
  • “It’s two for the price of one!” (After a double play)
  • “The Tigers need instant runs.” (When the team was behind in the late innings)
  • for more visit here

Harwell would begin the first spring training broadcast of each season with a reading from Song of Solomon 2:11-12: “For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.”

And isn’t this what we hope? That winter is past and spring will come again soon? Baseball makes us long for hot dogs, draft beer, popcorn and that unmistakable crrrack as the bat connects with the ball.  We remember blistering in the sunshine and shivering at sundown. We recall smiling children with snow-cone stained faces and young loves sitting side by side. Baseball means our National Anthem being played, heroes are being honored, and fundraisers conducted to benefit others.  With baseball, we think of summer because, to the legions of us who love it, baseball is summer.

The temperatures won’t get over 35F today in West Michigan but, in a few days, the season will be upon us anyway and I, for one, cannot wait.

Just for you, here’s a sampling from Ernie Harwell’s 55+ year stellar announcing career, more than 42 of them with the Detroit Tigers.

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Family, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Men, News, Opinion, Patriotic, Relationships, Seasons, Sports, Thoughts, Traditions, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , , , | 13 Comments

What’s in your Relationship Basket?

image from countryliving.com

Lately, several different people have asked me for relationship advice.  Me! (I know, that’s what I thought, too).  The problem with me is that if you ask me my opinion, I assume you really want to know.

I’m no therapist, but I’m a fairly good listener and I have a good amount of life experiences.  I’ve also been lucky to have witnessed two very strong marriages: my paternal grandparents, Ausser and Pearl, who were married over 70 years, and my parents, who were sweethearts for more than 52.   The hubbs & I are celebrating year 19 next month. But, unlike them, when we met, we’d both been married & divorced.  He grew up in a traditional household and later became a child of divorce;  I grew up watching my parents go on date nights and speak softly to each other.  He witnessed fights and stress and matured too soon; I saw dancing and kindness and hand holding.    When we met, we brought our own unique basket of experiences to the relationship, but it’s what’s IN our baskets that has been so vastly different.

We’ve had our share of joys and our share of sorrows.  We’ve had regrettable moments when we were sharp and unkind with each other … but we’ve worked through them and moved on.  Asked recently what’s your secret, I replied that “there is no secret” – follow the Golden Rule http://www.teachingvalues.com/goldenrule.html and you’ll be just fine.   But, thinking about it further, I’ve assembled what’s worked for us:

1.     Remember that you chose each other.  Don’t save your best manners for strangers. Please and Thank you go a long way; speak kindly, and give credit where it’s due.

2.     Don’t keep score.  Well if he got to do ___ then I should get to do ____.  This is a relationship, not a video game.  It’s not always going to be equal; someone is always going to carry more than their share and who that someone is changes. 

3.     Embrace each other’s friends & family.  When you make it easier for them to be in your lives, everyone’s happier. Learn to laugh at their stories because you’ll hear them many times.

4.     Be honest.  When you’re tired, say so. When you’re lonesome, speak up and ask for more time together. Never assume your partner can read your mind. I don’t have that superpower, although it’d sure be handy on occasion! When you’re wrong, remember these three important words, “I was wrong.”  

5.     Try not to go to bed angry but, if necessary, agree to disagree.    That old saying “pick the hill you want to die on?” It’s true.  Many issues are just not worth fighting about, in my opinion.  But if I believe in something? Oh yeah, you better believe it will be discussed.

6.    Find a way to pursue your passions and feed your soul. The hubbs and I enjoy our time together because we  give each other time to ourselves. He loves to compete and is an avid sports fan and team player. I like to read, write and play with music and technology.  The point is that we don’t need to be alike nor together all the time to get along. And when we are together, we’re interested in each other because we’ve both had the time and space necessary to pursue what intrigues us. 

7.    Forgive mistakes and move on. Don’t keep a list of false starts.  No one’s perfect, including you.

8.     Listen: try to do so without interrupting.  When you give someone your undivided attention, that in itself is a wonderful gift.  The hubbs is an attentive listener, and that’s really good for me because I love to talk!   He’s taught me to be a better listener and I’ve taught him it’s ok to open up.

9.  Laugh. Often. At each other. At yourselves. At life.   We can’t always control what goes on in our lives but we can control how we react to it.

10. Do nice things for each other. I know he likes casseroles (and he knows that I don’t) but I make them because he works out of the house and these are easy for him to warm up at lunch.  He does sweet things for me, like filling my car up with gas on wintry days and making extra trips back to the grocery store for items or brands I prefer.

11.  Be each other’s biggest cheerleader.  Applaud successes and be kind with failures.  Support each other’s interests. An appreciated spouse makes a joyful partner.

12.  Make regular time together a priority by scheduling it.  When our boys were little, we didn’t have much extra money or trusty babysitters.  We’d bathe the boys & tuck them into bed, and spend our evenings together out on the patio. Singing. Talking. Listening. Laughing. We still do this today.   Our boys have grown up seeing us prioritize our time together, guard that time together and relish our time together. Date nights are scheduled regularly and they don’t always require that we leave the house.  As a result, we’ve given our children a wonderful gift; knowing what a loving, supportive and fun relationship looks like.

How about you? What are your tried & true relationship rules?

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life Lessons, Love, Men, Mom, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Romance, Self Discovery, Share, Thoughts, Traditions, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , | 35 Comments

Where’s the beef?

photo courtesy ocregister.com

A California lawsuit claims that fast food giant Taco Bell is NOT serving 100% beef and that instead they use a meat mixture containing “binders” and “extenders.” The suit claims that this combination doesn’t meet requirements set up by the USDA to be called beef.

“What’s for dinner, Mom?” 

“NearlyBeefaroni!”  

   Huh?

“Beef-kinda-sortanoff”

 Come again?

“Beef…almost-fredo”

Sigh.

Taco Bell countersued saying their seasoned beef contains “88 percent USDA-inspected beef and the rest is water, spices and a mixture of oats, starch and other ingredients that contribute to the “quality” its product.” The company said it uses no extenders. (for more see http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41311073/ns/business-consumer_news/)

Um … I don’t even know what an “extender” is, do you?  I do know this: I don’t want to know. 

Let’s not even discuss the makings of a chicken nugget.

Categories: Animals, Family, Food, Home, Life, News, Opinion, Personal, Rants, Share, Thoughts, Useful Information | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

What does doubt mean to you?

photo from: spiritdreamsgr.com

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a decision that’s before me; one that I admit to feeling hesitant about.

Yesterday I heard this quote:  “Doubt means don’t.”

Today I found this picture at left.   

Think the universe may be trying to tell me what I already know?

It doesn’t matter what the decision is … this can apply to any of us at any time.

I’m going with my “gut.”  

You?

Categories: Determination, Faith, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Life, News, Opinion, Personal, Random, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , | 14 Comments

What are you really saying?

There’s always a little truth behind the words “just kidding,”  a little knowledge behind “I don’t know,” a little emotion behind “I don’t care,” and a little pain behind “I’m ok.”

For every time I’ve heard hurtful words followed by “just kidding,”  I know you meant it but don’t have the guts to be honest.

For every time I’ve heard the words “I don’t know” from someone who knows better, I know you’re lying because your eyes are looking everywhere but in mine. 

For every time I’ve heard the words “I don’t care” just know that it’s going to take a few more tries to convince me.  

For every time I’ve heard the words “I’m ok” know that I feel your pain and see you reassuring yourself with those words.

 So .. what are you really saying?

Categories: Determination, Friendship, Life, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Random, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 23 Comments

25 Random Things

image from taxgreegold.co.uk

 25 Randoms about Emjayandthem:

  1. Old people make me smile. I enjoy it when an old fella stops me in the grocery store to tell me a joke .. I know that this moment was his one moment of the day to tell someone his little story. His wife is sick of hearing the same joke over and over so he makes up a reason to go to the store and find someone to tell his story to … people just want to be heard, and I love it when they choose me.
  2. Our boys make my heart sing; seeing them fill the doorway, leaving me voice messages that say “love ya mom” and being warmly embraced by either one of them (who both tower over me by about 20 feet) just make my heart melt.
  3. I’m patriotic. “The Star Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful” make me cry. Every time. “O Canada” (except for the French parts which I’ve forgotten) does as well. I landed in the U.S. with $178 and a guitar and I’m so grateful for what I’ve been able to learn, who I’ve met, and the life we’ve created. Being a dual citizen, how cool is that?
  4. Black licorice is my favorite childhood candy.
  5. The hubbs makes me laugh. There’s something extremely sexy about a man who can laugh with you and at you. He’s also a very good listener. We don’t always agree, and sometimes he can be a bonehead (so can I) but he’s perfect for me. He challenges me and doesn’t put up with any gibberish b.s. from anyone, even me! I like that. He’s also strong, smart, brave, loyal, thoughtful, sentimental, and tender-hearted. He’s the kind of man your mother would wish on you … and mine did.
  6. I like the wind and the feel of it on my face:  it reminds me of my childhood home on the prairies. I could never live in the woods as I get claustrophobic if I can’t see the horizon. Continue reading
Categories: Attitude, Determination, Family, Friendship, Home, Life, Opinion, Personal | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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